Smallpox in the garage

My new book, Skating on Stilts, is mostly a meditation on how the technologies we love eventually find new ways to kill us, and how to stop them from doing that. I talk about three technologies — jet flight, computers, and biotech. Anticipating the release of the book next week, Huffington Post is hosting an excerpt from the biotech chapter on its site this week.

A Venn diagram of blogger ideology would show only the tiniest sliver of common readership between VC and HuffPo — probably Hollywood libertarians.  So clicking on the link is a testament to your broadminded liberality, and it will confuse the heck out of the link diagram engines. 

Actually, there’s a serious point buried there.  Worries about the future are inevitably colored by ideology.  Libertarians are more likely worry about the ways new technology will empower the state.  Huffington Post readers probably worry more about the ways new technology will permit business misconduct.  People like  me worry about the ways new technology will empower terrorists.  But biotech is so protean and powerful that it’s likely to empower all three kinds of misuse. 

So unease about biotech brings everyone together.  It’s the Richard Nixon of future technologies!

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